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2012-10-04

Arthur Nagel Clinic observes Breast Cancer Awareness Month

By K. Irene Stone Executive Director

Medical personnel and support staff at the Arthur Nagel Community Clinic take the month of October - Breast Cancer Awareness Month - very seriously.

The Well Woman's Program, a small but exciting outgrowth of the clinic's preventive healthcare program, was developed to meet the specific needs of women. During the two years of the existence of the Well Woman's Program, a steady number of women have actively participated in this life-saving program.

When finances are tight, many women postpone having an annual checkup.

The Well Woman's Program offers free or low-cost physical examinations, pap tests, birth control, mammograms, urinalysis, screening for colon cancer, STD testing, pregnancy tests, prenatal care referrals and healthy lifestyle counseling. Simply put, the Well Woman's Program is saving lives.

When mammograms and cervical cancer screening detect malignancies, the affected women are immediately referred to oncologists. Last year, four breast cancer malignancies were diagnosed at the clinic. The Well Woman's Program uncovers serious health problems while there is still time for successful treatment.

Local clinic healthcare providers partner with Christus Santa Rosa Hospital to bring their Mobile Mammogram Unit to Bandera. So far in 2012, 43 women have received free mammograms during just two visits by the Mobile Mammogram Unit.

One of the primary purposes of the clinic's planned building expansion project - which will effectively double the size of the clinic - is to enhance our Well Woman Program. Dr. Sandra Haldeman, a gynecologist who recently relocated to Bandera from Houston, is treating female patients at the clinic. Other physicians in the Hill Country have offered their services as well.

The clinical expansion will accommodate them and patients by providing office space for visiting specialists and other physicians.

Funds raised during the upcoming Melissa Benge Turquoise Ball on Saturday, Oct. 20, will be earmarked for the expansion of the Arthur Nagel Community Clinic. The benefit will also provide funds for the clinic's Well Woman Program.

To attend the Turquoise Ball or make a donation to the building expansion, visit TurquoiseBall.com.

Another service offered by the clinic is annual health fairs. Clinic staff will be at the City of Bandera Health Fair at City Hall from 9 am until 1 pm, Monday, Oct. 17.

Compliments of Crawford Pharmacy, over 100 free flu shots will be available on a first come, first served basis to the general public.

Medical providers will also be on hand to provide health information, exercise and diet tips and glucose checks and distribute other healthcare information.

To volunteer at the Arthur Nagel Community Clinic, call 830-796-3448. Online donations can be made at NagelClinic.org.

For more information on breast cancer detection, treatment and support groups, visit Komen.org.

"Remember, the person who can save your life is you!" noted a clinic spokesman. "Please get screened for breast cancer today!"